CULTURE & ARTS

'Downton Abbey' Star Dan Stevens Goes Uptown In Broadway's 'The Heiress'

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06:  Moderator Rebecca Mead chats with actors John Slattery, Jennifer Ehle, Dan Stevens and Cherry Jon
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Moderator Rebecca Mead chats with actors John Slattery, Jennifer Ehle, Dan Stevens and Cherry Jones during the Period Acting - Living History Panel as part of The New Yorker Festival 2012 hosted by Acura at SIR Stage37 on October 6, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

Dan Stevens is learning to act American. When offered a cup of tea, the British star kindly requests coffee. He jokes about how his waiter at dinner last night couldn't understand his pronunciation of "water," and just to prove that he's got the accent down--the one he's been perfecting for his upcoming Broadway debut--he slips into a faultless impersonation, right down to the sarcasm. "I'm sorry, water," he says with a laugh.

He's been working on this dialect for a while, using what he calls his "parrot-like" abilities to take on an American character for the first time as Morris Townsend in "The Heiress," which opens Nov. 1 at the Walter Kerr Theatre. "It's a warm and welcoming community," Stevens says of Broadway while sipping a Starbucks Americano. "You really get that community sense more than in London."

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